Stop imagining and start experiencing!

Imagine this for a moment…

  • No more wondering how much potential your business really has.
  • No more confusion regarding the marketing and development of your business.  Just clarity.
  • No more mistaking activity for progress.
  • No more wasting your time or money on ineffective marketing.
  • No more being on your own, when it comes to the development of your business.

Stop imagining it and start experiencing it

You work hard and deserve to see the rewards for all that commitment.  I want to help you.  Allow me to quickly explain.

So far this year, I have offered just one new place on my marketing program.  New places are rare and fill fast, because working with me, one-to-one, on the development of your business gives you a unique opportunity.  When people work with me:

  • You get to attract clients and client inquiries.  This means people buy from you. You don’t have to sell.  Ever.
  • You get to pick the exact type of client you work with.  This means you can build a massively valuable client list.
  • You get to market your services based on value, not cost.  This means no more working for fee-sensitive clients.
  • You get to increase the value of your services.  This means you become far more attractive to prospective clients.
  • You get to control the path of your business growth.  This means you can plan ahead with peace of mind.

So, why am I talking about this right now, when places are so rare?

It’s because today, I am opening up 3 (yes three) new places on my extremely popular Marketing Program!  To find out more about this amazing opportunity for your business, simply use the form below.  (If you are reading this via email, click here to see the form.)

I will happily answer any questions you have.  To avoid missing out, be sure to get in touch as soon as possible.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Here is some biased advice for your business

Biased advice has always had a bad reputation.

Common knowledge tells us that unbiased advice is best.

Common knowledge is wrong.

If I hire an advisor, I want her to give me biased advice: Pro-me, biased advice.  Yes, I want independent advice, based on her expert conclusions and not because she is being paid to push a certain product or service as the answer, however, I want her to look out for my interests.

When you tell me your advice is unbiased, I’m not sure whose side you are on!

If you currently offer unbiased advice in your marketing, why not consider this.  Think about offering prospective clients independent advice, which is based around their unique needs and what’s best for them.

Jump off the fence and plant your flag firmly on their side.

The secret to getting YOUR voice heard

Just as shouting loudly for too long will cause you to lose your voice, blogging for traffic can do the same.

Focusing on traffic (numbers) ahead of people, will influence what you say and how you say it.  The challenge with that approach is that it’s hard to get your voice heard, when it’s simply part of the noise created by all the other people, saying the same things.

Yes, if your business model is based on how many page impressions you can create, it may be a useful strategy.  This is not the case for 99.9% of people though.  Our success is linked to the relationships we build with the PEOPLE behind those traffic numbers.  This means allowing your readers to connect with you.

The numbers

If I were to write posts here just for “the numbers,” this blog would cover far fewer subjects and read very similar to every other traffic focused, marketing blog.  I would be trying to tie in my blog posts to recent news events.  I would also jump on every new social media bandwagon and blog about it.  I would regularly have to use infographics. I would bore the shit out of you, talking about the latest crazes on Twitter.

That approach may attract traffic to this site, however, those people would leave just as fast as they arrived.  Why?  Because there are thousands of sites already writing those posts. I would lose my voice in all that noise.

Amplifying your voice

What gives you your voice, is your ability to share what you think.

  • Your thoughts
  • Your words
  • Your opinions
  • Your insights

The irony here, is that it is the people with the least generic approach to blogging, who often have the largest and most engaged readerships.  These are the blogs we share and link to the most often, because they have something interesting to say.  Those links (sometimes called inlinks or back links), are the single biggest factor in the volume of traffic a site gets from search engines.

By blogging about our area of expertise or professional interest, using out own voice, we are far more likely to motivate people to want to share what we have to say and link to it too. This is a very liberating message, for those who connect with what it means!

If you want to build a great community of readers and prospective clients, have something worth saying and say it well.  Say it in your own voice and give yourself permission to be human.  That’s what makes you unique.

OK: This is just not good enough!

Great marketing and an OK service is not enough, if you want to grow a successful business.

Think of it like this.  Imagine you see some snazzy marketing, which inspires you to buy something.  Then, when you use it, you find that it’s not as good as the marketing suggests.  It’s OK at best.  Below average maybe.

You are not happy. You feel like you have been duped.

What do you do?

  • You may seek a refund.
  • You may blog about how it failed to meet your expectations.
  • You may tell your friends on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin etc, how the product failed you.

What wouldn’t you do?

  • You wouldn’t buy from that company again.
  • You wouldn’t give them permission to market to you again.
  • You wouldn’t recommend their product to your family or friends.

Here’s the thing: No matter how good the marketing is, if the product or service behind it is just OK, you set a very low ceiling on the potential of your business.

When I start working with a new client, one of the first things I work on with them, is how to transform their product or service into something that’s of unique value.  We look for refinements and improvements, which will be of genuine value to their prospective clients.  As a result, their marketing messages become massively more attractive and their clients want to tell the world how much they love the service they receive.

It may take less thought to bring yet another OK service to the marketplace, but the return is very poor.  That’s because your prospective clients are not looking for an OK service.  Even if some of them are, most of your competitors are already providing an average service, which is why they are competing against each other based on prices or fees.  When competing providers offer an OK service, prospective clients use prices or fees to determine the best value.  That’s why I get my clients out of that fee-sensitive loop FAST, regardless of their industry or profession.

Offer more unique value than your competitors.  Get as far away from average as you possibly can.

That’s where the best clients, highest fees and most rewarding work is.

The magic of Seth Godin

It is my honest belief, that Seth Godin is a genius.


Without interrupting me, Seth somehow manages to compel me to need to tell you about his work from time to time.  Seriously, I feel like I am actually under-serving the community here, if I forget to mention him periodically; in case new readers have not yet discovered him.

Conversely, I am currently being bombarded with sales emails, from a vocal advocate of Seth’s work and permission marketing in general.  I gave them permission to email me, but with each additional pushy sales message they send me, I become less and less inclined to want to recommend them.  I have never bought a product from them either.  Professional curiosity is all that’s keeping me on their list.

When Seth’s blog posts arrive in my inbox each day, they are keenly awaited.  Each post delivers value.  Seth’s posts are written by him, but for us. The guys sending me the pushy emails also offer valuable blog posts, but they are written by them, for them.  It always seems like I am being sold to.  I feel like I need to keep my guard up.

If I see a link in one of Seth’s posts, I click it eagerly.  I trust him.  My guard is down.  I believe that the link will offer me value.  I’ve been educated to expect something positive.  It works beautifully.  You know what?  Seth has never sold me a book, but I have bought every book he has ever written.  In fact, I usually buy a dozen copies of each new book.  I keep one and give the others away to people I know, who are ready to read what Seth has to say.

If you want to know what I am talking about, do this:

  1. Go to Seth’s blog.
  2. Subscribe.
  3. Then, take some time to read your way through his posts.  Do not just read the latest posts. Bookmark the blog and work your way backwards!

If you do, you may learn how to inspire people to write posts like this, about you and your work.

Let’s work together and grow your business. To find out more click here!

Photo: Seth Godin

Are you a carrier of the encouragement virus?

So, are you a carrier of the encouragement virus?

If you genuinely believe someone has what it takes, don’t keep it a secret.  Don’t just assume they already know.  Many people have the ability to achieve wonderful things, but sadly need outside validation before they get started.

Your words may be just the encouragement they need, to get going and do something great.

What if they fail?

If they fail, at least they tried.  That in itself, is important.  Really important!  There are few things worse, than looking back on your life and wondering “what if?” If they fail after you encourage them and they are bright, they will adjust and then try again.  Repeating that often enough will almost guarantee they succeed!

Of course, to have the biggest positive impact on the world around you, you need to give yourself permission to step outside of your own comfort zones too.  Don’t wait for someone else to tell you that you are good enough to; start that business, ask that person for a date, enter that competition, start that blog, etc.  YOU are a big deal!

Outside voices are useful and important, but you shouldn’t waste your life waiting for the approval of someone else, before you get started.

Business is all about people, so connect!

Today, there is so much information flooding the marketplace, that it’s hard to get noticed.

Your marketing messages are fighting for attention, in an sea of; tweets, Facebook updates, blog posts, emails…. you get the picture!

Reach out

So, here’s a suggestion.  As well as making your marketing messages as attractive as possible, how about you also work hard to reach out and connect with people.  I’m talking about allocating some outreach time into your working week.

You see, the people who are being swamped with all that information, ultimately wade through it on a pretty superficial level.  They scanThey don’t absorb. What resonates, is the deeper stuff:  The personal touch.

Outreach is enormously rewarding on many levels, however, it can be time consuming work.  But that’s OK.  You don’t need to connect one-to-one with everyone in your marketplace.  Just connect with people as often as you can, in the time you have allocated for your outreach work.

The impact you create, by relating to people on a human level, is far more likely to inspire them to amplify your message and increase your reach / influence.  It’s a beautiful and effective way to do business.  It takes business back to basics, because business is all about people.

6 great marketing posts and the chance to win an iPad2

After 3 years of blogging, I have finally written my first ever guest post!

As regular readers will know, I love what John Jantch and the team over at Duct Tape Marketing are doing.  This means it was a great privilege to guest on John’s site today, as part of Duct Tape’s iPad give-away competition, to celebrate small business week.

Your chance to win an iPad2

If you want the chance to win an iPad2, simply read these 6 great posts.  They are all about how to convert leads into clients, even if you hate selling!  Then, see if you can match the 6 authors to the correct post!   The 6 authors are: Jill Konrath, Mahan Khalsa, Michael Port, Michael Schultz, Wendy Weiss (and me!)

The posts are worth checking out purely for the value they contain, but with the added bonus of potentially winning an iPad 2, you really have to check them out.


Time to improve your business and lifestyle? Read this!

People often ask me how I find the time to update this blog as frequently as I do.  That’s before they discover that I usually work fewer than 25 hours a week!

The answer, is that I make the time for blogging, because it’s a priority activity for me and my business.  As a keen time manager, I always have the time to do the important things, by refusing to waste time on the less important things.

I certainly wouldn’t have the time to keep this blog regularly updated, if:

  • I was active on more than 2 social networks Twitter and Facebook.
  • I answered my phone every time it rang, rather than screen my calls.
  • I had my email set to send/receive every 30 minutes, rather than when I am available to actually deal with email.
  • I accepted every “can I pick your brains for free?” request I get each day, rather than place a value on my time.

I admit that I work hard, but I work hard for around 4 or 5 hours a day.  I also get more done than many people who work 10 hours a day; but are less focused on the way they invest their hours.

Here’s how I do it

I gained control of my time 15 years ago, when I decided to take some great advice from a friend.  She suggested I write a time diary.  In the time diary, I listed everything I did at work, and how long I spent on it, for a period of 5 working days.  I was immediately able to spot activities that were sucking my time up but delivering little if any real value.  This exercise also made me a lot more aware of how easily you can waste time, whilst still being extremely busy.

If you like the idea of getting more done in less time, why not try a time diary for the next 5 working days?  Be sure to list everything you do, business or pleasure, during your working day and how long you spend on it.  Then, look through that list for activities, which are taking up too much of your time, for what you get in return.  Also, look for ways to improve your efficiency on the important tasks.

The overall impact of mastering your time can be (literally) life changing.

What everyone ought to know about building a great business

How are your revenue and profit figures right now?

  1. Some people are watching their business grow.
  2. Some are watching their business plateau.
  3. Some are watching their business slump.

If you are in that first group, congratulations!  Hard work and smart decisions are rewarding you, just as they always do.  However, don’t get complacent (see below.)

If you are in the second group, you need to make some changes.  It’s tiring and extremely stressful when a business is spinning its wheels.

If you are in the third group, you need to immediately focus your resources on pulling your business out of the nosedive.  In my experience, most people don’t!  They get so used to doing things a certain way, that they decide to carry on “as is” and hope things “just get better.”

From growth to a slump

The reason for this post, is that many of the people who end up in that third group, started off in the top group!  They found a way of running their business and marketing their products or services, which worked.  Then, as the marketplace changed, they didn’t.  Things started to dip and they went from growth, to stagnation.  After a while, stagnation was replaced with a drop in revenues and profits.

The good news is that this can’t happen to you.  At least not without your cooperation.

Wherever you are in that process right now, you need to be vigilant.  You need to be on the lookout for areas of your business that are under-performing.  You need to be looking for signs of possible future problems, such as:

  • An over reliance on a small number of clients for too much of your revenue.
  • Poor or erratic cash flow.
  • Ineffective sales and marketing, which is generating too few qualified inquiries or sales.
  • Toxic business practices, which could be damaging your reputation.  These range from under delivering on the service you offer your existing clients, through to spamming prospective clients with unsolicited email.

The answer?

We need to study and listen to our marketplace.  If we do, it will tell us what it needs.  For example, by listening to the challenges and problems facing them, we can develop products or services, which answer a pressing need.  It’s a lot easier to grow your business, when your service is in demand!  If you are smart enough, you will spot the opportunity first and have the marketplace to yourself – At least for a while.

Don’t stand still: No matter how things are with you and your business right now, look for ways to strengthen your position.